Online ACT Human Rights Film Festival set for Oct. 1-10

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The fifth annual ACT Human Rights Film Festival at Colorado State University will be held virtually Oct. 1-10, featuring 21 films from around the world and 13 conversations with filmmakers.

Tickets for the festival, which was postponed last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, went on sale Sept. 9 and are available online. Festival passes are $55, and tickets to individual screenings are $10; $2 discounts are available by using the promo code “CSUSOURCE” at checkout.

All of the feature filmmakers will be participating in either live or pre-recorded conversations that will air after the screening of their films. The films and conversations can be viewed from anywhere in the nation.

“We are excited to celebrate our fifth year and present a full slate of films that inspire and empower us on our new digital platform,” ACT Managing Director Beth Seymour said. “While we are all doing our part to stay home and be safe, ACT is thrilled to convene community and sustain conversations around human rights and social justice. Audience members from throughout the United States can join us for film screenings and conversations with filmmakers.”

This year’s films can be viewed on a web browser or a smartphone app through Eventive. (Viewers will not be able to watch if they are logged into a virtual private network.)

Kickoff Oct. 1

ACT kicks off with an opening night screening of Gay Chorus Deep South at 6:15 p.m. on Oct. 1. Gay Chorus Deep South, directed by David Charles Rodrigues, follows the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as it embarks on a “peace and unity” tour of the American South in response to the wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws and divisive 2016 election. A live Q&A with film subjects Tim Seelig and Chris Verdugo, moderated by Professor Eric Aoki of the CSU Department of Communication Studies, will follow the screening at 8 p.m.

Seymour said Aoki is one of several faculty members who will be leading discussions with filmmakers and film subjects.

“I’m excited about how many faculty members have stepped up to moderate conversations,” she said, adding that some faculty even helped translate conversations with Spanish- and French-speaking filmmakers. Hye Seung Chung, an associate professor of communication studies, will be translating the remarks of a Korean filmmaker into English during one of the live chats.

There will also be a synchronous watch party on Oct. 5 for a special virtual Alumni Night Out event with the screening of Hungry to Learn by award-winning director Geeta Gandbhir. The film follows three students as they negotiate the difficulties of food insecurity and college. The online screening — being held in conjunction with the CSU Alumni Association, Rams Against Hunger and the CSU Mobile Food Pantry — begins at 5:30 p.m. It will be followed by a filmmaker Q&A at 7 p.m. with Emmy-winning producer Rose Arce, led by KUNC Colorado Edition host Erin O’Toole.

During the live conversations with filmmakers and film subjects, viewers will be able to submit questions via a chat function.

ACT’s closing night film is Influence, which will be available throughout the festival’s 10-day run and includes an interview with filmmakers Diana Neille and Richard Poplak, moderated by O’Toole. This film about influence and weaponized communication centers on the infamous Lord Tim Bell and his associates, known for their controversial geopolitical spin-doctoring. Influence is terrifyingly relevant in the current era of alternative facts and theatrical politics.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Connecting at the intersection of culture, art and social justice.” The full lineup of films and other information about ACT is available online at actfilmfest.colostate.edu.

ACT is produced by CSU’s Department of Communication Studies, with generous support from CSU partners, including the College of Liberal Arts; Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts; Women & Philanthropy; Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Endowment; Honor’s Program; CSU Alumni Association; the School of Music, Theatre and Dance; College of Health and Human Sciences; School of Social Work; and the departments of Economics, Philosophy, English, Sociology, Journalism and Media Communication, History, Art and Art History, Occupational Therapy and Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Off-campus partners include the City of Fort Collins-Fort Fund, The Lyric, Colorado Creative Industries, the Eye Center of Northern Colorado, the Bohemian Foundation, The Colorado Trust, Associates in Family Medicine, Odell Brewing, KUNC 91.5, The Elizabeth Hotel, the Colorado Office of TV, Media, and Film, and dozens of individual supporters.

For more information, visit actfilmfest.colostate.edu.